There are thousands of recipes out there, and in the end, most them are not that distinct or different from another. But sometimes what makes a recipe so special and distinct are the memories and traditions that flow from it.
These hot buns are probably very similar to most, but for me, they belong to some of my earliest food memories and even some of the earliest memories I have of my mom. I love how recipes can transport us to another time and bring back the scents and delights of days we thought we had long forgot.
Growing up, treats like these buns were usually enjoyed during a cozy afternoon on the couch. Once the Brown Betty had been filled with tea, the hot buns stuffed with butter and brown sugar, my sisters and I would sit and listen as our mom would read aloud stories from Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare or D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths.
Memories like this with my mom remind me that while life is never perfect, we can create small pockets of comfort and joy in our lives. My mom has a gift for making the ordinary special; for creating these “small pockets of time” where beauty can be experienced in places most never think to look.
Now, whenever I have these hot buns they bring back these lovely memories with my mom. These buns are nostalgic for me, but with or without those memories, they are delicious on their own.
These buns are incredibly fragrant with hints of cinnamon and lemon that will make their way throughout the house. They come out with a shiny, golden brown top, and inside are soft and filled with currants or raisins.
This recipe I am sharing with you is adapted from the original newspaper clipped recipe my mom had saved in the early 90s. The recipe in the news article came from an older gentleman who had adapted it from an old Dutch roll recipe. It’s amazing how recipes are passed down through time, isn’t it?
They are truly delightful eat. And they aren’t too difficult to make either! Let me share with you my recipe below so you can try these out for yourself.
- 5 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoons lemon extract
- zest from 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/3 cups lukewarm whole milk
- 1 1/4 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup currants (or raisins)
- 1 egg beaten for egg wash
How to Make:
Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, lemon extract, lemon zest, oil, eggs , warm milk and yeast together into large bowl. Stir together thoroughly. Either knead with a dough hook or by hand for 5-8 minutes. The dough should become elastic and stretchy. It will stay very sticky so you will want to have flour on hand!
Mix the currants in by gently kneading dough on floured surface.
Place dough in well greased bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a slightly warm oven. Tip: preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 min. and then turn off oven. This is now a warm spot for the dough to rest and rise.
After 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size, turn dough out on floured counter and punch down a few times. Divide dough in half and then divide the two halves so that you have four equal divisions of dough. Then divide each piece of dough into five or six equal pieces (depending on desired size of buns).
As you shape the buns, tuck and pinch the dough at the bottom so that a nice, smooth round top forms.
Let the shaped buns rise another 25 minutes covered. I like to place them on the stove top while the oven is preheating so that they can be in a warm place.
Preheat oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place racks at highest level.
Uncover the buns after they have rested and brush on the egg wash. Allow the buns to rise another 10 minutes uncovered.
Placed buns in oven and let bake for about 9-10 minutes. Typically the tray beneath the top one will need to stay in about 3 minutes longer.
Buns should be golden brown and fragrant. They are ready to be enjoyed!
Hope you enjoy these. They are perfect with tea or coffee. The are best hot out of the oven but they can be rewarmed in the oven. The are good with butter and a small amount of brown sugar in the middle is so good.
And they go well with a good book!